Raising ADHD Kids: Lessons Learned by Real Parents

Parents reflect on what they’ve learned raising a child with attention deficit, and share tips for meeting the challenges of parenthood.

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As long as your child is happy, you're doing OK.

— An ADDitude Reader

> Setting expectations — about behavior as well as what is going to happen the next day or week — is important. Telling a child what to expect calms him down. —Karen, Wisconsin

> You have to learn to be more patient. You realize that your definition of patience changes when you raise a child with ADHD. — Amye Webster, Anacortes, Washington

> Don’t take things personally. I wish I had known that my child’s inability to fall asleep wasn’t my fault. I attributed her sleeplessness to my being a bad mom. I thought that if I were stricter and more consistent, she would be able to settle down and go to sleep. — Amy Knapp, Monona, Wisconsin

> That a child with ADHD can be extremely focused when he wants to be. I did not realize that was possible, so I didn’t think my child had ADHD. —Anne, Los Angeles, California

> That puberty was going to be 110 percent worse with ADHD. — Betty Hernandez, Ocala, Florida

> The importance of routines and structure in a child’s life, not to mention the importance of sleep and being aware of the fact that an ADHD child can be extremely sensitive. — An ADDitude Reader

> Don’t wait until a child grows older to see if troubles correct themselves. It’s easier to put organization systems and routines in place when she’s young. — Christina P., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

> I wish I had known how crucial it is to help a child establish friendships. Friends can make or break a child’s life at school. — Amy Day, Beecher City, Illinois

> I wish I had known how differently ADHD affects girls. I would have better understood what my daughter was going through and tried harder to give her the support she needed. — Debbie, New Hampshire

 

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